FAQ for owners

What returns can I expect?

Owner's returns on investment depend on a number of property specific factors but typically exceed an IRR of 8%.

Please use our solar value calculator to get an estimate of your property's solar potential.


Does solar increase my property's value?

Yes, the solar system will appeal to both future owner-occupiers and investors as a Liveability Feature that saves occupiers money and delivers additional cash flow to investors.

A 2018 study found that houses marketed with sustainability features, such as solar panels, sell for at least 10 per cent more than properties that do not market sustainability, and sell on average 13 days more quickly.

85% of Australians identify solar rooftop panels as something which adds to a property’s value, according to research from realestate.com.au and Origin Energy. Solar was the primary feature that respondents associated with green living, and three quarters of renters said they would pay additional rent to live in a property with solar energy.

86% of Australians place solar energy in their top three choices of energy for Australia according to the 2016 Climate of the Nation report and over 1.8 million Australian properties already have solar systems.

Solar has always been a great way to increase your property's capital value, and with SunTenants owners now also enjoy an immediate cashflow benefit through increased rent!


Can I benefit from the depreciation of the solar asset?

Yes, the 2017 Tax Ruling TR 2017/2 specifies that "solar photovoltaic electricity generation system assets" are to be depreciated over an effective life of 20 year.

SunTenants’ solar value calculator includes linear depreciation over 20 years in the calculation of the IRR.


How do I best advertise sun powered rentals?

We suggest that solar is listed as a property feature. At the end of a tenancy, SunTenants will provide you with a solar savings report that can be shared with prospective tenants.

For example: "Solar system saving residents $30 per week, solar savings report available upon request.”


How is the rent increase calculated?

Please see our description on the Technical Details page.


What properties make good sun powered rentals?

SunTenants works well with both residential and commercial rental properties.

The solar savings of tenants are greatest when they use lots of power during daylight hours, so businesses are often particularly well suited to solar.

Live data on the solar savings of a residential and commercial properties are shown on our case studies page.

Properties must meet four criteria to become a SunTenants sun powered rental:

  1. Have a sunny roof. While modern technology allows solar systems to work effectively on roofs that experience partial shading, if your roof is in the shade throughout most of the day then installing solar won’t be worthwhile.

  2. Have a solid roof. Before installing solar it’s important that your roof is in good condition, as the solar panels will ideally remain in place for 25 years.

  3. Be a rental. SunTenants is focused on serving rental properties. If you’re an owner-occupier you don’t require SunTenants’ services, however we can still get you a solar quote from one of our trusted solar installers - please contact us.

  4. Have a single owner, or have all owners in agreement. Installing solar is easiest on single occupancy properties, such as free standing houses, terraces, or warehouses. SunTenants also works with multi-unit properties (up to ~20 units) provided that all property owners have agreed to getting solar. While we don't have the resources to engage with uncommitted strata committees, we have contributed to this comprehensive information pack.


When can solar be installed?

We can install solar at any point, as soon as the property owner and tenant agree to capitalise on their solar potential.

We’ve developed an innovative process that allows the rent to be increased by mutual agreement of the owner and the tenant, at any point during a lease (or between tenancies).


What happens when the property's tenancy changes?

SunTenants will provide you with a solar savings report that can be shared with prospective tenants. The solar system can then be advertised as a feature of the property, for example: "a solar system that on average has saved tenants $30 per week (savings report available upon request)."

We have designed our solution so there are no extra contracts, the only solar specific terms are included in the rental tenancy agreement as an energy payment (so that the advertised rental price remains unchanged).


How do I best convince my tenants?

We recommend you use our solar value calculator to get a proposal specifically for your property, and then forward a copy of this email (once you've used our form to receive a copy yourself) to your tenant.


What if I already have solar on my investment property?

Excellent! To make use of our services you will need to install a Solar Analytics monitoring device so we can monitor your system and provide solar production and savings information to you and your tenants.


Who does the installation and what do they install?

We work with a select group of trusted solar installers who meet our standards for service, workmanship and warranties. You are also welcome to choose your own installer.

Our trusted installers work exclusive with top quality ("Tier 1") components that come with warranties that meet our standards. The installers will prepare a quote with their recommended components, but you are entirely free to modify this if you have specific requests.


Who takes care of maintenance?

The Solar Analytics system constantly monitors your solar system's performance. Automatic sub-optimal performance notifications will be sent to you, your tenant and your property manager. The company that installed the system may well be obliged to do so free of charge under the terms of their warranty (circumstance dependent).

In general, solar system's run for many years without needing any maintenance.


What if the solar generation is lower than expected?

Solar Analytics monitors the performance of all our sun powered rentals. If we detect that a solar system is not meeting its energy generation forecast, we follow a three step process to address this problem:

  1. We notify the company that installed the solar system as well as the owner of the property.

  2. We work with the solar installer to troubleshoot the situation remotely.

  3. If needs be, the installer will visits the property to carry out maintenance.

All of our trusted installers provide at least 5 year workmanship warranties and all components have warranties that meet or exceed industry standards (typically 5 or 10 years). Where maintenance is not covered by warranties owners need to pay, and the installer will contact them directly to discuss this before going to site.

Many of our trusted installers also provide solar generation guarantees, where they will reimburse owners if the system does not produce the quoted amount of energy.

Systemic under-performance may justify a renegotiation of the rent. To date we have not experienced such a circumstance.